“Rooted in an authentic sense of place….its silky blend of lyricism with urban grit marks it as a promising debut.”
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
“Feels fresh, thanks to the vibrancy of its performances and the complexity of its themes.”
Steven Zeitchik, LA Times
In this official selection from the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, KICKS, directed by Justin Tipping, nothing is as simple as it seems. This story line is based off of Fifteen-year-old Brandon, who longs for a pair of the freshest sneakers that money can buy (Air Jordan 1’s); assuming that merely having them on his feet will help him escape the reality of being poor, neglected by the opposite sex and picked on by everyone — even his best friends. Working hard to get them, he soon finds that the titular shoes have instead made him a target after they are promptly snatched by local hood, Flaco. Seemingly the embodiment of menace, Flaco harbors complexities of his own that will be revealed when Brandon goes on a mission to retrieve his stolen sneakers with his two best friends in tow.
Boasting a strong ensemble cast and featuring a memorable lead performance by newcomer Jahking Guillory, the film transcends a deceptively traditional hero’s journey to deliver an entertaining and sobering look at the realities of inner-city life, the concept of manhood and the fetishization of sneaker culture. Visually and thematically rich, with an amazing soundtrack of both hip-hop classics and Bay Area favorites, Kicks creates an authentic and original portrait of a young man drowning in the expectations of machismo.